95, Issue 18 - Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Monologues Brings Holiday Laughs
By Brian Ervin
of "The Reindeer Monologues" take a moment to cut
loose on stage. Photo by Melissa Cappa
Eight Reindeer Monologues was performed at the NSU Jazz
Lab last Friday, December 5.
Eight Reindeer Monologues was written by Jeff Goode,
and NSUs presentation was directed by Carrie Clevenger-Gwartney
and Andrea Foster.
Performers were Michael Deken, Alex Gamby, Brad Powers, Brandon
Wall, Nicole Dickey, Jennie Phillips, Matt Gibbons and Darcy Talent.
Eight Reindeer Monologues is a dark comedy about a sex-scandal
at the North Pole involving Santa Claus and his reindeer. Santa
Claus is accused of sexually assaulting one of the reindeer, and
the performance consists of each of the reindeer giving his or her
testimony, either defending or condemning Santa.
Its about a sex-scandal breaking, and all fingers are
pointing toward Santa. Basically, Vixen has been raped and accuses
Santa, and all the reindeer are giving their testimony, said
Michael Deken, who played Comet the reindeer, said, Theres
been these allegations that Santa Claus has sexually-assaulted some
of the reindeer, and each reindeer gives a little brief story of
themselves and how they feel about the allegations, whether they
think theyre true. It kind of shows which side theyre
on, because some of them are standing behind Santa and some of them
want to see Santa arrested.
In Eight Reindeer Monologues, each reindeer is developed
as a distinctly-defined character within the context of contemporary
Vixen is kind of a radical feminist. Cupid is openly-gay.
He mentions that some other reindeer are gay, but theyre in
the closet, but hes openly gay. Rudolph is in a padded-cell.
Hes kinda nuts. Hes not in the show, but they talk about
him, said Clevenger-Gwartney.
Santas actual guilt or innocence is never resolved in the
performance. When asked if Santa was guilty or innocent, Deken said,
Its kind of up to you to decide.
Rather than resolving the issue of Santas culpability in the
sex-scandal, Eight Reindeer Monologues deals with larger
issues, relevant beyond the North Pole.
It kind of talks about how sometimes the public image of a
person can be ruined even if they didnt do something, such
as- and Im not saying Im either way on the Michael Jackson
thing, but he would be a great example right now about how if the
media is on one side, then chances are the people are going to follow.
That, and its just a fun little show, said Deken.
A fun little show about Santa Claus and his reindeer, on the surface,
would immediately appeal to a younger audience, but Clevenger-Gwartney
said this show is definitely not for children, given the adult subject
Its not for children at all. It is not for anybody under
17. A government-issued ID, not just a school ID, but a government-issued
ID is needed to get in, because IDs will be checked. [Eight
Reindeer Monologues] has got very adult language, she
As some readers may already be aware from having seen them displayed
on campus and elsewhere, the adult subject matter of Eight
Reindeer Monologues is expressed on its advertising posters.
Some who saw the posters took offense and commented accordingly.
We had gotten a lot of comments on our posters. We seem to
be offending people with our posters. Which is kind of nice because
controversy breeds interest sometimes, said Clevenger-Gwartney.
Although the interest is welcome and encouraged by Clevenger-Gwartney
and her cast and crew, she said the controversy was not their intent.
Were not trying to poke fun at Christmas, were
poking fun at the commercialization of Christmas, and thats
what the show is, basically. It kind of makes a statement about
humanity and how we treat Christmas and the ideas surrounding Christmas.
So, its that, and not so much making fun of the true meaning
of Christmas, she said.
Last Fridays was their first and only presentation of Eight
Reindeer Monologues. For those who did not get a chance to
see it but want to, they may get their chance to see it next year.
It is something we are going to try out and if its successful
were going to bring it back again, maybe as a yearly thing,
maybe every two years. Its an experiment, definitely. Well
see how people like it. If you missed it this year, you can see
it next year if it works out for us, said Clevenger-Gwartney.
Contact Brian Ervin at Lisan_al_Gaib000@msn.com.